BHUBANESWAR: The Government is in a sticky situation after the State Election Commission (SEC) wrote to the former seeking transfer of Jharsuguda SP Dayal Gangwar ahead of panchayat elections. The poll panel has also sought that the IPS officer should not be given a posting that has anything to do with the election process.
The SEC has written to the Chief Secretary as well as the Home Secretary. The Government has placed the matter before the committee which effects transfers, and a decision is likely soon.
The Commission sought the officer’s transfer after it received complaints against him and assessed the past order of Election Commission of India (ECI) .
Two sarpanches of the district had levelled allegations against Gangwar, and the RDC was asked to inquire and submit a report. The SP refuted the allegations while the RDC did not give his opinion in the report but the Commission wanted that the officer be shifted to ensure fair and impartial election.
What has gone against the IPS officer is the ECI’s decision during the 2009 General Elections. The ECI had then shifted two IAS and four IPS officers and kept them out of the election process. This issue was picked by the Opposition political parties earlier last year and Congress MP Sanjay Bhoi had shot off a letter to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj citing the ECI order.
Sources said the Ministry then forwarded the letter to the SEC. When the poll panel held the meeting of political parties for the three-tier panchayat polls, the issue was raised. Soon after, the Commission checked the status of all the six officers and found that one of the IAS officers had retired while the other is now a Commissioner-ranked officer, and can’t be associated with the poll process.
Of the four IPS officers, one has been elevated to DIG rank while another is an IG and both are in no way connected with the poll process. Of the rest, an SP-ranked officer is currently on leave, while Gangwar is in a field posting.
Besides, the ECI had issued a blanket guideline in 2009 stating that the officers, shifted during a poll, must not be associated in any such process.